It’s been a long time coming but American Saxophonist Zdany Chisholm has finally released his debut album entitled Genesis, and as the title suggests this is just the beginning of things to come. With a percentage of the album proceeds going to the American Cancer Society – Zdany had a chat with Musicvein about his life, work and the donation.
“I believe that I was born a musician – music runs in my bloodline.” Zdany starts, “I grew up in the church where I played music but I only started playing the sax back in 2000. I’d play locally but more recently had the opportunity to tour Europe with Cody Chesnutt – which has been an amazing and surreal experience. People always asked when I was going to record an album – I guess it was just time.”
MV: What part of the creative process did you enjoy the most when making the album?
“I enjoyed starting with a simple idea and watching it blossom into a complete song. My inspiration comes from life and love but the hardest part is getting to a state of completion!”
MV: With your debut album Genesis, what made you decide to donate money to the ACS?
“I really wanted to give something back. There are a host of charities to choose from but the American Cancer Society simply hits home for me. Several years ago, my mother was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. I witnessed her pain, suffering and eventually her freedom from it all when she went home to glory. I got through the tough time because I knew that she lived her life and I knew for whom she lived her life. I believe that if it had not been for God in our lives, the medical staff and all the previous Cancer research undergone – my mother’s struggles would have been worse. I take not for granted the gifts that God has given and it would be a ‘slap in the face’ not to give back.
Honestly, I want this album (Genesis) and all of my music to simply touch someone’s life. I want it to uplift them when they’re down, relax them when they’re stressed, encourage them when they’re discouraged, just be that feel-good music for every aspect of their lives.”
MV: Is there any one strong belief you have that drives you to succeed, even when the odds seem stacked against you?
“I know that skill can take one far, but with faith and favour the impossible becomes possible. My mother instilled in my brother and I that, “Only what you do for Christ will last,” and to “Always establish our own identity,” that has become my mantra – so much so that I have it tattooed on my arm.”
MV: So when you’re not working, what do you like to do to chill-out?
“I’m a recreational and active person so bowling, billiards, the gym, travel, hanging out with the family and friends – anything that’s new – I just like to live life to the fullest!”
MV: What has been the highlight of your career so far and is there anyone you would like to work with in the future?
“I would love to work with Kirk Whalum, Stevie Wonder, Prince…The list is endless! And as for highlights, performing at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival and recording Cody Chesnutt’s new album in the same studio where Al Green made most of his early hits, has been amazing! I truly feel blessed.”